Recently in Career & Continuing Education Category
With a view to setting new standards for hotel rooms of the future, the SHTM collaborated with its teaching and research hotel, Hotel ICON, to again organise a global competition in 2014 to shape guestrooms of tomorrow.
Taking the theme 'The Hotel Room of the Future', the competition this year will be held from September to December 2014. Professionals in interior or hotel design, and design students from tertiary education institutions are invited to submit their design proposals individually or as a team for one of the Tomorrow's Guestrooms to showcase their vision of hotel room design for guests of the future.
Entries in the competition will be reviewed by an expert panel, and winners may have the chance to have their design realised in one of the dedicated research bedrooms at Hong Kong's one-of-a-kind teaching and research hotel - Hotel ICON.
An SHTM initiative, Tomorrow's Guestrooms serve as an innovative platform to innovate, develop and showcase new technologies, hotel designs and business concepts in hotel management. Through these dedicated guestrooms, the SHTM is creating a "House of Innovation" not only for the benefit of education and research but also for the advancement of the entire hotel industry
Both funny and intelligent - this article by Bill Forrester is a great read for anyone implementing Inclusive Tourism.
The unemployment rate for persons with a disability continues to be almost double the rate for persons without a disability. Personal finance social network WalletHub conducted an analysis of 2014's Best and Worst Cities for Americans with Disabilities.
The group analyzed the 150 most populated U.S. cities across 23 key metrics. They range from the number of physicians per capita to the rate of employed people with disabilities to park accessibility.
|Best Cities for People with Disabilities||Worst Cities for People with Disabilities|
|1||Overland Park, KS||141||Chicago, IL|
|2||Peoria, AZ||142||Los Angeles, CA|
|3||Scottsdale, AZ||143||Reno, NV|
|4||Lubbock, TX||144||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|5||Chandler, AZ||145||Jackson, MS|
|6||Amarillo, TX||146||Hialeah, FL|
|7||Gilbert, AZ||147||Las Vegas, NV|
|8||Tampa, FL||148||Miami, FL|
|9||Chesapeake, VA||149||North Las Vegas, NV|
|10||Huntsville, AL||150||Providence, RI|
- The adjusted cost of living in New York is 2 times higher than in Nashville, Tenn.
- The employment rate of people with disabilities in Overland Park, Kans. is 2 times higher than in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
- The percentage of the population with disabilities below poverty level in Rochester, N.Y. is 6 times higher than in Plano, Tex.
- The cost of a doctor visit in Madison, Wis. is 3 times higher than in Jacksonville, Fla.
- The annual cost of in-home services in Madison, Wis. is 2 times higher than in Brownsville, Tex.
- The percentage of persons with disabilities living in Detroit, Mich. is 4 times higher than in Irvine, Calif.
- The number of special education teachers per people with disabilities in Charlotte, N.C. is 26 times higher than in Detroit, Mich.
- The percentage of the population with walkable park access in San Francisco, Calif. is 4 times higher than in Charlotte, N.C.
1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Mapping occupation, skills needs and training content
1. Accessible tourism training should take into account the context of training, the
trainee's prior qualifications, knowledge and experience, the level of the training to be
delivered and visitors' specific access requirements.
2. If a visitor experience is to be truly accessible then all elements of the supply chain or
customer journey must be accessible. As a result, a person's place in the tourism
value chain is less important for determining skills and training needs than the role that
this person fulfils in the business.
3. Thus, skills needs and training provision must differentiate between different skills
levels (basic, in-depth) and different occupational roles (Managers with / without
customer contact, frontline staff, others (including technical specialists).
4. Training content and learning outcomes should include Knowledge of disabilities /
types of disability and access requirements, Barriers to accessibility & Design for All,
Strategic development of accessibility in business, Principles of effective customer
service, Proper etiquette for dealing with PwD, Recognising and responding
appropriately to people using personal supports and Service animals and assistive
5. There are wide differences in accessible tourism content in mainstream tourism and
hospitality training curricula across the EU.
6. On the whole, the level of awareness and qualifications of tourism services providers
is inadequate to address the needs of people with disabilities. There is an urgent need
to promote an understanding of accessibility before it is possible to persuade
businesses to take up training.
7. Existing training is overwhelmingly directed towards continuing vocational educational
training (VET). Current training provisions are often provided on a non-permanent
basis or reach too few individuals to have an effective impact on the accessible
8. Overall, NGOs are the most active organisations delivering accessibility training for
tourism organisations, tourism boards or businesses in order to feed in the sector
9. The standard methods of delivering formal training are online and traditional
classroom-based training. Some training providers1 have developed "blended-learning
programme" or "b-learning". Direct involvement with people with disabilities during
training has the greatest level of impact and duration. However, it is also indirectly
mentioned as a barrier for businesses to take up the training.
10. A majority of courses are directed to frontline staff. However, there is a recognition that
it is important to reach managers for the training to have a more long-lasting impact.
11. Most training introduces introductory-level skills as business conditions often require a
fast delivery of training which is focused on giving results in the daily work of every
12. Motor and sensory impairments rank among the accessibility requirements most often
addressed in the training.
Existing demand for accessible tourism training
13. SMEs in the tourism sector make less use of formal training than large enterprises -
whether for managers or staff - due to limited financial resources, limited time and
difficulties in accessing training courses locally. Informal training and "on the-job"
experiences are important tools to enhance staff skills among SMEs.
14. Thus, training should not be limited to structured and top-down approaches to learning
and may take the form of "awareness raising" which is less formal and has broader
appeal to SMEs.
15. While a number of certificates in accessibility training exist across Europe, these do
not give academic credits and most qualifications are not recognised in the wider
16. In several Member States there is growing awareness of the importance of the
accessibility market. Awareness may be influenced by government anti-discrimination
policies or accessibility may be adopted is part of the strategic development of a
country's or region's tourism products. The maturity of a tourism destination does not
seem to have any bearing on the availability of courses or the uptake of accessibility.
Gaps in training provision and the role of EU projects
17. Key gaps in the existing training landscape include a gap in the actual
availability/provision of training, a gap in the development of the business case for
training and a gap in evaluating the impact of training on customers, staff and
18. The role of EU-projects to remedy the gap in the availability of accessible tourism
training has so far been rather limited. EU funded projects have focused on
establishing a basic understanding about the target of training initiatives, the main
actors who need to be trained (management, staff and different occupational roles)
and appropriate training tools, methods and curricula. The main achievement of most
of these projects lies in the awareness raised among the participants and the relevant
19. At the same time, EU projects so far have suffered from low transferability and weak
dissemination. Accordingly their efforts have not been exploited in a coordinated way.
The widespread lack of continuity or uptake of training suggests some projects were
not sufficiently embedded in the tourism sector at an institutional level. Many of these
EU funded projects were pilot projects with very few participants.
Drivers of supply/demand for training
20. Key factors that influence the supply of training provisions are tourism policy and
legislation. In those Member States where accessibility has a strategic role in the
development of tourism products there seem to be a higher number of available
training courses. Legislation seem to encourage the proliferation of training courses
(as well as uptake), at least where this legislation is being properly enforced.
21. The greatest barrier to training is the lack of awareness of accessibility and the lack of
a convincing business case for accessibility training. Tourism businesses have little
incentive to engage in training for accessibility when this is a poorly understood
market. The challenge seems to consist in making a convincing business case for
training, structuring the market (demand and supply) for training and spreading
awareness of successful business practices by peers.
22. A top-down process of awareness for accessibility seems to favour provision of
training courses. Business and trade associations must be fully integrated in efforts to
develop an accessible tourism business case.
23. Key actors within organisations such as tourism boards, but also individual businesses
or service providers can act as "champions", actively promoting training as an integral
part of accessibility strategies.
24. There is a strong case for a recognised European certificate in the area of Accessible
Tourism. The field is still sufficiently "young" for such a transferable qualification to be
developed, yet without one, different national variations may appear, which could
entail difficulties in the coming years regarding mutual recognition in different EU
25. Development of such a standard would help address both supply side barriers (by
providing a structure to the market for accessible training provision) and some of the
demand side challenges (by defining accessible tourism skills as a transferrable and
26. The standard would not require the design of specialised accessible tourism training
modules. Rather, the required skills (as defined in section 3 of his report) could be
integrated into existing tourism qualification. This would certainly be the case for the
basic skills per occupational group defined in section 3 with more in-depth training
being provided in separate modules focused exclusively on accessible tourism
27. A full list of recommendations is presented in section 7 of the full report which is at:
Below is the European report "Mapping of Skills and Training needs to improve accessible tourism services".
A major part of the Research Study commissioned in 2013 by the European Commission and awarded to VVA, ENAT and3s Research, involved the preparation of 20 Case Studies, examining accessible tourism training programmes and projects in Europe and abroad.
The selected Case Studies can be regarded as examples of good practice in vocational education and training, although certain weaknesses are also identified, where appropriate.
On the ENAT website the following case studies may be downloaded:
List of Skills and Training Case Studies
- ABTA, United Kingdom
- ETCAATS, EU Training Project, Sweden
- Perfil - Psicologia e Trabalho, Portugal
- SCANDIC Hotels, Sweden
- Kéroul Welcoming Ways, Canada
- ATHENA EU Training Project, Czech Republic
- Via Libre, Spain
- VisitEngland, United Kingdom
- People 1st, Welcome All. United Kingdom
- PEOPLECERT, Greece
- COIN, Italy
- HERMES Airports, Cyprus
- Cluster for Accessible Tourism, Bulgaria
- Lousã, Accessible Tourism Destination, Portugal
- TACTALL EU Training Project, Spain
- Ministry of Tourism, Ontario, Canada
- Disney Corporation, France
- VisitFlanders' Accessibility Training, Belgium
- Barrier-Free Destinations, Germany
- EU Funded Training Projects
My first international adventure was an amazing one. Elaine Keane is an occupational therapist that has opened, Crecer, a free clinic in Ecuador. Six occupational therapy students, six physical therapy students, and our professors ventured to Ecuador to provide services at Elaine's free clinic along with other sites in the area, including an adult day care, nursing home, and orphanage.
Throughout the week, the OT and PT students took over the caseload at Crecer Centro de Rehabilitación, Educación, Capacitación, Estudios y Recursos, Inc. My group, composed of two OT and two PT students, saw clients pediatric to adult. One of our successful cotreat sessions was with a young boy with spastic cerebral palsy. The PT student held the boy on his knee focusing on breaking up his tone with proper positioning while I completed a tabletop activity with the boy encouraging him to bring his hands to midline while completing fine motor tasks. Our class also worked with an adult who suffered a TBI after a fall at his electrical job. One group worked on his mathematical skills by creating a mock store and asking him to purchase items and calculate the correct change. Another group arranged the therapy room to mimic his electrician job site. The client demonstrated what his job entails as the OT and PT students noted areas that needed improvement before he is able to return to his job.
At FUNHI, the adult day care, we had a sports day playing adapted versions of volleyball, soccer, hockey, and ring toss. We also celebrated a Quinceanera with the clients. We took this opportunity to create birthday cards with those who hoped to improve their fine motor skills. Those who needed to improve range of motion helped us decorate the room with crepe paper and balloons.
The Asilo orphanage and nursing home were less focused on individual therapy sessions and more so aimed at serving the large population in a volunteer aspect. The girls at the orphanage ranged from 18 months to 14 years old. From painting nails to making balloon animals, the girls had a blast and the students didn't want to leave. At the nursing home we first helped shower the residents each morning. It was a very humbling experience. In the afternoon we had a fiesta with the residents, which included balloon games, jewelry making, and a lot of dancing.
The trip wasn't all about work. We had plenty of fun- zip lining upside down in the Andes Mountains, white water rafting in intertubes, relaxing in the hot springs heated by volcanoes, learning how chocolate is made, going to a butterfly house, orchid tour, tasting guinea pig, and sightseeing. I thoroughly enjoyed my first traveling experience and can't wait for traveling opportunities in the future.
Signs Restaurant is staffed with deaf servers, and is now open for business in Toronto's busy Yonge and Wellesley area. The restaurant is the first project of its kind in Canada.
"I think it's super inspiring," says Christine Nelson from the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf. "On behalf of the whole community we're thrilled to see something like this take place."
Owner Anjan Manikumar says he got the inspiration for Signs while working in a Markham restaurant as a server. He had a deaf customer who had to order by pointing to the menu. "I felt he wasn't getting the service he deserved," says Manikumar. "He wasn't getting the personal touch."
More information at:
The U.S. Access Board has launched new online guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. This web-based material features illustrated technical guides that explain and clarify requirements of the ADA and ABA standards, answer common questions, and offer best practice recommendations. It also includes a series of animations on various subjects covered by the standards.
"The Board is very excited to offer this series of technical guides and animations to help users understand the requirements of the ADA and ABA Standards and how they can be met," states Access Board Member Michael Graves, FAIA. "As a practicing architect, I know from experience how valuable this type of guidance is in following the standards and ensuring accessibility."
The initial installment of the guide covers the first three chapters of the standards, including application and use of the standards (Chapter 1), scoping in new construction, alterations, and additions (Chapter 2), and basic "building block" technical provisions (Chapter 3). Guides covering other sections of the standards will be released at a later date. The supplementary animations, which range in length from 6 to 10 minutes, address wheelchair maneuvering, doors and entrances, and accessible toilet and bathing facilities.
"These new resources not only explain requirements in the standards but also demonstrate their rationale," notes Graves. "Knowing the 'whys' behind various provisions is key to understanding what accessibility means and how best to achieve it."
The Guide to the ADA Standards covers design requirements that apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities subject to the ADA in new construction, alterations, and additions. The Guide to the ABA Standards addresses similar standards that apply under the ABA to facilities that are designed, constructed, altered, or leased with federal funds.
Future installments to the guides will be published as they become available. Users can sign-up to receive email updates on the release of new technical guides in the series.
Candace Cable in Armenia spreading the word about living with disabilities.
Although it is not the point of this PSA here is proof that we see the world differently from a wheelchair.